“How can I improve my dart playing skills?” is a question that even the most decorated dart players want to know. Whether you’re a newbie who has an average of about 30 or you’re an experienced player who averages higher than 60, there’s always room for improvement in the game of darts.
In order to get good at darts, you really do need to have patience, you need to practice, and of course, you have to be committed to improving your game; a lot of novice players underestimate these essentials, and many accomplished players get lax and forget how crucial these things are to the game. Whether you’re just starting out, you have undoubtedly experienced how difficult it is to get the dart to land where you want it to on the board; if you’re an experienced player, you surely recall that frustration.
No matter how long you’ve been playing or your experience level, if you’re wondering how to get better at darts, you’ve come to the right place! Below, we’ve compiled a list of tips (which may be more like reminders if you’re proficient) that you can use to improve your game.
Practice with a Purpose
The old saying “practice makes perfect” applies to so many things in life – including darts. In fact, the truth is, the only real way that you can improve your game is by practicing. If you really want to get better at darts and increase your chances of hitting your target, regular practice is an absolute must; truth be told, without practice, none of the other tips on this list matters. With that said, however, you want to make sure that you’re practicing with a purpose.
If you just throw a series of darts at the board and you don’t have a specific goal, you really aren’t doing yourself any favors; to be honest, that approach probably isn’t going to amount to much more than a waste of your time and energy. How can you make your practice purposeful? Set a goal before each training session. For instance, you could aim to throw 100 darts at one of the hardest scores in the game, such as the triple 20. When you have a goal in place, eventually, you’re going to improve your accuracy; plus, you’ll have a relative framework that you can use to measure your progress from.
There are so many ways that you can practice with purpose. Other examples include throwing just doubles or maybe even numbers. You can also limit the amount of darts you permit yourself to hit a specific score. By putting these kinds of conditions on yourself while you’re practicing, a mindless round of throwing darts will instantly become a more disciplined practice session. This strategy is one of the most efficient methods that you can use to enhance your game.
A common mistake that dart players of all proficiency levels make – and a mistake that has a huge impact on their success – is forgetting about the position of their bodies while they’re throwing. If you want to improve your game, you definitely want to ensure that you don’t lose sight of your body while you’re throwing.
From the time you step onto the oche line until the second you release the dart, make sure that you’re always conscious of your whole body the entire time you’re going through the motions of throwing. The amount that your body swings, bounces, or sways while you’re throwing should be minimal; ideally, your body shouldn’t make any of these motions. You want your breath to be controlled and steady, and every movement you make should be done so consciously.
A lot of players move their bodies around while they’re throwing; they flex their elbows and/or knees, or lift up their back legs, for example; some even close their eyes just before they release the dart. These types of movements are detrimental to your performance. When you’re practicing, be sure that you are aware of your body and how it is moving. The more still your body is, the better, and any motions that you make should be done with a specific purpose, so as to improve the outcome of your game.
Get Rid of Variables
Even the newest of newbies knows that darts is a game of consistency. Your performance largely depends on your ability to be consistent with your throws. In fact, your ability to throw consistently is more important that your ability to throw accurately. Of course, that isn’t to say that accuracy isn’t important, because clearly, it is; however, if you want to improve your performance, consistency needs to be your primary focus. This includes the consistency of your stance, your grip, the mechanics of your throw, and even your follow through.
Once you have determined a routine that works best for you and it complements your style, make a concentrated effort to refine that routine to the point that it becomes second nature. It’s important to note that while this is a lot easier said than done and that it will take many, many hours of practice, with dedication and patience, you can be successful with your consistency.
Practice with Better Players
While it might sound like a kind of meaningless and even counterintuitive tip, it’s actually extremely useful. Just like any other game, if you want to get better at darts, you’ll want to play with those who have more experience and skill than you, and who perform better than you.
Though it may pain you to do so, if you want to get better, you really do need to lose; and not just once in a while, but repeatedly. Why is this an effective way to improve your game? Firstly, because when you’re playing with someone who is better than you, you’ll have the chance to study their performance; the mechanics and strategies that they use. The old “observe and learn” strategy. Additionally, when you fail, you’re more likely to assess your performance so that you can do better the next time around.